Preserving and Sharing MISD History

As the first registered high school alumni association in the state of Iowa, the Marion Independent School District does an excellent job of preserving its history. Established in 1879, the Marion Alumni Association has been a source for historical information and provides a way for alumni to stay connected, maintaining a database that includes records of graduates dating back to the first class in 1872.

There are several ways to stay connected to MISD history, including the Marion School Foundation website and the Marion High School kiosk.

In 2021 Marion School Foundation staff wrote funded grants to the Linn County Historic Preservation Grant Program and the State Historical Society of Iowa to preserve and share historic yearbooks starting at 1918 and class composites from 1893-1924. Not only does this project ensure that scanned copies of these materials will be saved digitally, but all items will be available for viewing on our website at This will make it easy for alumni, friends, and family to easily search for photos and information about past students and staff.

Did you know that Marion High School maintains both an in-person and online kiosk allowing alumni and friends of the district to research athletes and performing artists?

Since approximately the year 2000, students have been recognized for athletic and performing arts achievements with large portraits displayed in the high school cafeteria. Eventually there was no more available wall space for pictures, so the solution was to go virtual and transfer to a web-based platform. This allowed the school to expand the pool of student honorees to those who graduated before 2000 all the way back to the early days of MHS. This, of course, required a tremendous amount of research to determine just who these earlier students were and what they had accomplished.

The driving force behind the kiosk project is Mike Manderscheid, MHS Activities Director, who was assisted by Steve Roth (MHS 1974). Roth is the author of the Marion High School boys’ basketball history project, which includes over 6,500 pages of material covering all seasons and every MHS varsity boys’ basketball game since 1907.

Roth said, “Several people have told me that they know of no other high school that has such a comprehensive history on any sport as that offered by the MHS basketball history. And, I am equally certain when I say that I know of no other high school that has as complete and comprehensive athletic history as that presented in the various categories on the MHS kiosk website. And the amount of material will grow in the future, as academics and the performing arts are covered in greater detail.”

The sports section of the kiosk includes photographs and biographical sketches of all members inducted into the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame since that award was established in 2001; a Wall of Fame section citing over 500 student-athletes who won all-state honors in team sports or who received a medal in state meets in individual sports dating back to 1907; material on teams and individuals who have won state championships; and a section containing record books for the various sports offered at MHS.

The performing arts section of the kiosk includes Performing Arts Hall of Fame recipients, which was established in 2009, along with photographs and biographical sketches. The Wall of Fame section is currently adding student-performers who won all-state honors in band, choir, and speech. A section dedicated to MHS students who have achieved academic awards is in the early stages of development.

You can access the physical kiosk in the cafeteria of Marion High School or online at To nominate a Hall of Fame athlete or performer, visit the Marion Foundation website at

This article is part of the Summer 2022 Edition of the Marion Independent School Foundation and Alumni Association Newsletter.  If you are interested in staying in touch with the latest Marion School Foundation news, please update your information for our records here: